House Republicans made a change to their road funding bill that would open a $600 million hole in the next state budget.
The House GOP roads plan, as introduced, would gradually shift all sales tax on fuel dollars from the General Fund to road funding over the next few years.
House Ways and Means chair, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville), offered an amendment, approved by his committee, to make that shift immediate.
“We heard from those who talked about some opposition to the bill about, you know, every time you stick that gas nozzle into the car or truck or vehicle that every tax penny you pay should be dedicated to roads and that’s something that resonated with a lot of our members,” Brown says.
That shift would take around $600 million in the next two-year state budget out of the General Fund. Brown says his caucus will unveil their budget proposal next week but says the hole will be filled.
Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) suggests lawmakers might look to a different bill for the answer.
“I believe we will do something, as a state, in regards to the cigarette tax so maybe that would be able to back fill that,” Porter says.
The Ways and Means committee approved the overall roads bill 14 to 9, with two Republicans joining Democrats against it.